Sharapova out of Paris Open
Russian superstar Maria Sharapova pulled out of the WTA Paris Open
tournament due to illness on Thursday as Kim Clijsters eyed a return to
the top of the world rankings.
Sharapova, the world number 13, has been suffering from a throat
infection since the weekend and consulted a doctor on Thursday morning
before deciding to pull out, having been granted a place in the draw as
a wild card.
"I've really done everything to be ready, but unfortunately, I'm
unable to play," Sharapova said in a statement.
"I want to apologise to my fans and to thank the tournament for
having been so understanding and supporting me."
Sharapova was replaced by 'lucky loser' Stephanie Cohen-Aloro of
France who went on to lose 7-5, 6-3 to America's Bethanie Mattek-Sands
in the second round.
Australian Open champion Clijsters will replace Denmark's Caroline
Wozniacki if she wins her quarter-final tie on Friday.
The Belgian, who was top for 12 weeks in 2003 and seven in 2006
before her retirement and subsequent return to the game two years later.